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A Wedding Video Almost Lost

A while back I completed a most interesting project recovering a wedding video. Nothing unusual so far, but this was 36 years old on 1/2″ reel to reel tape in black and white and was almost lost, and before too long would certainly have been. This video format was one of the first small systems….

Magic Lanterns and Early Slide Shows

Englishman Samuel Pepys commented in his diary 1n 1666 of a Mr Reeves demonstrating a “lanthorn that shows tricks”, which so impressed him that he purchased it. Early magic lantern projectors were also described by the Jesuit scientist Athanasius Kircher in 1671. This was about 200 years before the first photographs were made and so…

Deterioration Danger Zones

If you are anything like me, you will have been noticing the aches and pains, slow and forgetful brain, lessening speed and strength etc.. Your doctors visits overtake your social cullender as you mature (hopefully) gracefully! The fact is we tend to deteriorate as we get older – and so does the rest of the…

Recovery and Restoration, How Is It Done?

For most of the 20th century everything was analog. Photos were on pieces of film and photo paper, movies were of long strips of film, video and sound was recorded on long ribbons of brown spaghetti or cut into cylinders and discs! Almost always the recording in your hand was the one and only original…

Sound Formats

Sound formats in history Practical sound recording began with Thomas Edison in 1877 with the cylinder phonograph and many cylinders of early recordings still exist. Very soon after the development of the cylinder phonograph Emile Berliner patented the gramophone recording on a flat disc and this became the general basis for the record industry. Early…

Photo Formats

In the beginning the only means available to preserve the likeness of a person or scene was a painting or sketch and because of the cost involved was only available to the rich. The first practical photographic format was the Daguerreotype developed in France in 1838. The process created a not too clear image by…

Video Formats

Some of the more significant steps in video recording… The first video tape recorder was released by Ampex in 1956 using 2 inch wide tape. It used a form of recording called quadrature scanning, meaning that a rotating drum with 4 heads scanned at right angles across the width of the moving tape. It was…

Film Formats

All About Movie Film 35mm Although motion picture film had been around in some form and in different sizes for some time, it was in the 1890s that 35mm wide film became accepted as the standard for movie production and exhibition. Other sizes have since been introduced for widescreen and large screen projection, but 35mm…

Proper Storage and Preservation

Any medium upon which information images or sound is recorded will in time deteriorate Some just deteriorate more quickly than others. Though each method and media has advantages and disadvantages, a recording entrusted to an otherwise reliable media may also degrade due to poor manufacturing method and materials used. Film Film in general can last…